Just as Lady Gaga is the new Madonna, the Duggar Family is the new Brady Bunch, or Honey Boo Boo is the new Honey Badger….times evolves for better or worse (or way worse). Something must step up to replace the NHL while it digs itself a grave. Replacements are typically chosen for their similarities (i.e. God-awful stage outfits worn by pop stars) and there were plenty of similarities between the NHL and AHL this past week.
First, and most obvious, there are NHL players competing in the AHL. For example, Jordan Eberle (and his moustache) tallied five points (4g, 1a) over two games this past weekend against South Division leader, Charlotte Checkers. I was able to watch the Barons and Checkers on Time Warner Cable Saturday night and it was a NHL quality showing. Fast paced, talented players (like Justin Faulk, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Eberle) truly did provide entertaining, professional-level hockey. Read more
Joe Sova with the Charlotte Checkers (Photo: KP Kelly)
Mr. Joe Sova is a defensemen currently playing with the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL. The 24 year old had a three-year career at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and totaled 58 points (13 goals, 45 assists). Sova was named UAF’s top rookie in 2008-09. Prior to the CCHA, he played three seasons in the United States Hockey League. Sova led the Omaha Lancer defenseman with 7 goals and ranked second amongst defenseman with a plus-23 rating through 59 games. His 2006-07 season was spent with Sioux City, he tallied 23 points (4g, 19a) and a plus-16 rating over 58 games. He earned seven points (2g-5a) in 40 games for Waterloo in 2005-06.
The 6’2” Illinois native made his pro debut with AHL Albany after signing an entry-level contract with New Jersey on March 19, 2011. In January of 2012, he was dealt to the Carolina Hurricanes in the deal that brought Alexei Ponikarovsky to the New Jersey Devils. Sova performed in 20 games with the Charlotte Checkers.
Ok, you are all caught up on your Sova stats. Another little known fact, Mr. Sova is an OET fan and was kind enough to do an interview with us… Read more
Does Gary Bettman get your vote? I can’t even write that with a straight face. (Photo: AP)
Finally, Election Day is here after months of slanderous political commercials, campaign signs littering every inch of grass, and the occasional funny candidate spoof on Saturday Night Live. What if you went to the polls today and saw Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman on your ballot card? Who would get your vote as the best (of the worst) leader? Perhaps you would like a more generic option, who would you take if the NHLPA was running against the NHL?
Much like the presidential election, the NHL and NHLPA are playing a ruthless game of media wars. Silly boys, the fans have been through this before (more than once unfortunately) and we aren’t buying your sh*t on a stick. I inadvertently made a stick pun (high-fives self). Absolutely no reports from either side phases me anymore. Show me action, choke on your words.
The NHL whispered sweet nothings to the fans last summer about being committed to starting the 2012-13 season on time and without delay. Yeah right, more like lies spoken with hot garbage breath. In October, the NHL made sure news of a 50/50 split (sans details) leaked to the media in an effort to appear generous and appeasing. Read more
AHL Player of the Week (Photo by Jon Fobes , Cleveland Plain Dealer)
What hockey fans already know is the NHL has cancelled 135 games. What everyone should do is channel that fanhood to the AHL. The minor hockey league is 10 days into a great season. Here’s what you ought to know…
The Conference Leaders…
The Syracuse Crunch lead the Eastern Conference with 9 points (4-0-0-1). The Bridgeport Sound Tigers (3-0-0-0) and Manchester Monarchs (3-1-0-0) follow with six points each. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins sit at the bottom of the barrel with four consecutive losses.
In the Western Conference, the Lake Erie Monsters take the number one spot thanks to their 17 goals, otherwise they share a 4-1-0-0 record with Chicago. They are being closely followed the Charlotte Checkers (3-1-0-1) and Abbotsford Heat (3-0-0-1).
The Top Scorers…
Cory Conacher of Syracuse has claimed a beautiful nine points in five contests (4g,5a), including a goal in the 6-5 overtime victory in Binghamton on Saturday night. Syracuse came back after a huge five goal deficit. Read more
AHL forward, A.J. Jenks, had this tweet come across my Twitter timeline today:
You may think as owner one of these annoying hockey themed apparel stores that I would be offended.
I think I was more offended to be in the same category as puck bunnies. Actually, I take that back as there are some pretty hilarious bunny tweeters out there. Moreover, it is impossible to be upset with Mr. Jenks. He plays for my favorite AHL team (Charlotte Checkers), hails from Detroit (my family’s hometown), and has some of the most amazing hair in the league. Read more
Buzz of the former Cleveland Lumberjacks
Nearly a year ago, the Winnipeg Jets were getting critiqued by the hockey community after unveiling their new logo. Some folks loved it, others hated it…hey, you can’t please everyone. Carolina haters joke the Hurricanes’ logo is nothing more than a puck being flushed down a toilet. Whether you love or hate the team, the Detroit Red Wings branding is iconic. Anyone can recognize the Maple Leafs’ marking, even if they aren’t in the puck world. Which made me wonder…what hockey-less cities would boast epic jersey’s if given the chance?
Professional hockey first came to Cleveland in 1929 after Happy Holmes dished out $20,000 to start the International Hockey league team called the Cleveland Indians. They actually won the championship that year, but the Cleveland curse kicked and the team was sitting in last place just a few years later. In 1937, the organization morphed into the American Hockey League as the Cleveland Barons. The NHL denied the team’s request to join the NHL in 1952. After a series of changed hands and a relocation, they finally joined the NHL as an expansion team. Alas, nothing goes right in the mistake by the lake, and hockey failed to leave the team puck-less from 1978 to 1991.The sport would return to the town in 1992 as the Cleveland Lumberjacks (IHL) and acted as a farm team to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Cleveland helping Pittsburgh? That is just wrong on so many levels. Read more